The failed purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk brought the situation of bots in social networks back into the limelight. Although Tesla’s CEO broke the pre-agreement with the platform, because of the number of fake accounts there were, there are some that are benign and even helpful. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, bots have been blamed for changing the course of the election.
Generally, these are often criticized for ruining social platforms. Meanwhile, there are also those who praise them for being able to count on a key tool in cyber warfare, where the State or companies are behind. Although they have been labeled as public enemy number one, in recent years they continue to be the center of attention. This was stated by Peiter “Muedge” Zadko, a former Twitter security chief. Zadko also posited that “senior management at the company did not feel like properly measuring the prevalence of bot accounts.”
Like Musk, there are several specialists who point to an “apparent” inaction from Twitter in terms of bots. In addition, there is an underestimation of the number of fake accounts. This was one of Elon Musk’s main arguments for terminating the deal for the purchase of the social networking platform.
There are good and bad bots
Christopher Bouzy of Bot Sentinel has posited that “the use of the term bot causes a lot of confusion for people.” Bouzy believes that the platform’s authentic behavior has not been tracked and, moreover, “the media have done a disservice in that regard,” he said. Many political accounts, which are automated, are defined as such bots. They also tend to monitor the deletion of tweets or modification of sites, as well as real state pages that are viewed with suspicion.
Bouzy has stated, when consulted by specialized sites, that the term bots should no longer be used and the term fake accounts or ‘inauthentic accounts’ should be adapted. This type of accounts, the bots, have been generating news in different areas. Many accounts are dedicated to aircraft tracking, some private, such as Jeff Bezos’ or Mark Zuckerberg’s, or others from companies, for their own security.
More views on the same subject
For V Buckenham, founder of Cheaps Bots, Done Quick! doesn’t think these types of accounts are of any use for anything worthwhile. The tool, created by this Twitter user, is free, and helps to create social network accounts in an automated way. Buckenham understands that these types of beads are lighthearted and creative, purely for fun.
Of course, some bots blur the line between usefulness and fun. Journalist Karen K. Ho, at the beginning of the pandemic, used the bots to post reminders to stop surfing Twitter at that time. After a start where she did it manually, she then built a bot to do the work for her.